JCPS passes safe haven resolution

The board passed a resolution declaring JCPS a safe haven district  by a vote of 4 in favor, 3 abstaining and 0 opposing. 

Parents, students and alumni from all over Jefferson County spoke to the board about their stake and expressed their opinions about the resolution before the vote.

JCPS parent and social worker Shannon Lockhart was in favor of the resolution.

“I want to be able to reassure my children that they are safe,” Lockhart said. “JCPS can be a model district.”

Maria Scharfenberger, another JCPS parent, was also in favor of the resolution.

“If the resolution is not passed then what message are you sending to our children?” Scharfenberger asked.

Supporters of the resolution sat in the back of the board room holding “sanctuary for all” signs.

Supporters hold signs and clap as the resolution is passed. Photo by Piper Hansen.

Yazmin Martinez (Class of 2013) spoke in favor of the resolution.

“We need to let students know that they are supported,” Martinez said.

Although most of the speakers were in favor of the resolution, Evan Wright, a graduate of Atherton High School, was in opposition.

“This resolution seems hostile. We should allow law enforcement to do their job. The resolution will also overstep the district’s boundaries,” Wright said.

After attendees were given a chance to speak, board members voiced their opinions and concerns about the resolution.

District four representative Ben Gies had some concerns about the resolution.

“Why can’t we just send home a letter so that our students and families know the policies that are already in place?” Gies said. He abstained from voting on the resolution.

Another board representative, district three’s Steph Horne, also abstained.

“I work in a non-partisan job and you’re asking me to make a partisan decision,” Horne said.

Diane Porter, district one representative said that it was her job “to speak out for students.”

Chris Brady, district seven representative, proposed the resolution.

“As a citizen and a parent, my responsibility in caring for our children doesn’t stop at their biology, their color, their religion, or their immigration status. Our immigrant and refugee communities make us stronger; they open us up to wider realities that we all can learn from,” Brady said.

Prior to the discussion about the resolution, the duPont Manual Chess Teams were recognized for their performance at the National Chess Competition. The team earned third place nationally.

Manual’s chess team is recognized as the meeting begins. Photo by Amberlee Tate.

There was also a unanimous vote to pass the Say Yes to Education Initiative; an initiative to work with the non-profit organization to give financial aid to all graduating students.
Other minor topics of the board meeting included internal issues with Crosby Middle School and the Superintendent’s monthly updates.

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